Many of the lost souls of Ossos and In Vanda’s Room return in the spectral landscape of Colossal Youth, which brings to Pedro Costa’s Fontainhas films a new theatrical, tragic grandeur. This time, Costa focuses on Ventura, an elderly immigrant from Cape Verde living in Lisbon.
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even when on dope, a woman is still a woman: she wants new furniture, small white tables with panes of striped glass :)). or is it meta-womanhood - she is aware of this cliche in female behaviour and uses it with her husband, to enhance the credibility of her claims, to show him she is back to normal female whims and to fool him into pawning or selling the old furniture. but not to get new one, normally, haha.
As a film itself, I think it's wonderful. As the third part in Costa's Fontainhas trilogy, it is absolutely astonishing and essential. This film shows the souls from the first two films now stuck in a limbo from which it seems there is no escape. This might be one of the most depressing films I've ever seen.
I prefer In Vanda's Room, but this is nearly as great. The shots of Ventura framed against the white emptiness of the new apartments, the sense of history and community passing away, the repeated reading of the letter: these are just a few of the film's haunting impressions. For the record, I didn't like it upon first viewing--but Costa's work has a way of lodging itself into your brain and forcing you to reconsider.
The thick, heavy contrast and unique lighting are what have made these films for me, that and the honest and touching portrayal of poverty and life. Touching not in the traditional way, in a more truthful and realistic way. It doesn’t feel like a manipulation, although, I suppose, it has to be in the end. But it’s more documentary than drama in it’s feeling, even though it’s more composed than that.